Tennessee consumers urged to explore choices on the FFM
NASHVILLE – The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance is alerting consumers that the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced the deadline to apply for or re-enroll in coverage for the 2020 calendar year on the Federally Facilitated Marketplace (FFM) has been extended until 3 a.m. Eastern Standard Time (EST) Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2019.
In a statement, CMS said: “CMS’s primary goal is to provide a seamless Open Enrollment experience for HealthCare.gov consumers and ensure that those Americans who want coverage offered through the Exchange can enroll in a plan. In an abundance of caution, to accommodate consumers who attempted to enroll in coverage during the final hours of Open Enrollment but who may have experienced issues, starting at 3 p.m. EST, Dec. 16, we are extending the deadline to sign up for Jan. 1 coverage until 3 a.m. EST Dec. 18. This additional time will give consumers the opportunity to come back and complete their enrollment for Jan. 1 coverage. While the website and the call center remained open for business on Dec. 15 with over half a million consumers enrolling throughout the day, some consumers were asked to leave their name at the call center. Those consumers who have already left their contact information at the call center do not need to come back and apply during this extension because a call center representative will follow up with them later this week.”
Tennessee consumers are reminded that three of Tennessee’s five insurance carriers have expanded their coverage areas for 2020. Additionally, TDCI approved premium rate decreases for just the second time in the Affordable Care Act marketplace era.
Carriers and coverage areas on the individual market are as follows:
· BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee. Statewide coverage includes adding the Memphis and Nashville areas.
· Bright Health. Continuing coverage in Knoxville, Memphis and Nashville areas.
· Celtic/Ambetter Insurance. Coverage expansion into Nashville and Knoxville areas with continuing coverage in Chattanooga and Memphis areas.
· Cigna. Coverage expansion into Chattanooga and Jackson with continuing coverage in Knoxville, Nashville, Memphis, and Tri-Cities.
· Oscar Health. Coverage continues in Nashville and Memphis.
Though rate decreases bring down premium prices in rating areas with more competition, an individual’s out-of-pocket premium costs depend on several factors, including the amount of federal funding for premium assistance (subsidies) available in the state. Consumers should contact licensed insurance agents or company representatives in considering 2020 plan coverage.
To assist consumers with enrollment or network questions, TDCI has posted copies of the carriers’ plans to our website, created a 2020 insurance carrier map as well as an informational video.
About the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance: Protecting Tennesseans through balanced oversight of insurance and regulated professions while enhancing consumer advocacy, education, and public safety. Our divisions include the State Fire Marshal’s Office, Insurance, Securities, Regulatory Boards, Tennessee Law Enforcement Training Academy, Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, and TennCare Oversight.
To check a license of a professional regulated by the Department, go to http://verify.tn.gov/.